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Grateful Dead Live at Madison Square Garden on 1981-03-09

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Grateful Dead Live at Madison Square Garden on 1981-03-09

Topics Live concert

Feel Like A Stranger, Althea-> CC Rider, Ramble On Rose-> El Paso, Deep Elem Blues, Beat It On Down The Line, Bird Song, Minglewood Blues China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider-> Samson & Delilah, Ship of Fools, Estimated Prophet-> Uncle John's Band-> Drums-> The Other One-> Stella Blue-> Good Lovin', E: U.S. Blues

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Madison Square Garden
Location New York, NY

Source Soundboard
Lineage Master Soundboard Cassette > Cassette > DAT > CDR
Taped by
Transferred by


Sources: Master Soundboard Cassette > Cassette > DAT > CDR; Jim Wise's Master Audience Cassette; Nakamichi CM700 mics >Sony TC-D5 supplies the tuning and first few notes of "Deep Elem Blues" (d1t06), approximately 0:38.


Reviewer: Lord Happy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2012
Subject: Deep Elem Blues
What a nice treat! I made my way to this show from the projects site, looking for a nice China>Rider and found all sorts of other goodies. Thanks for a great recording.

The 11/10/05 reviewer's notes about what would make this show better than perfect are rather intriguing and I'd be willing to pay good money to watch that.

Really enjoyed the Deep Elem and the keyboards around the 5 minute mark of Other One were fun. Bird Song has always been fun and the this version was nicely lit up.

Reviewer: The TRUE Bucky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 24, 2009
Subject: The Wheel Tease
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the major Wheel tease at the end of (another) TOO > Stella before going into Good Lovin'.....

It's there for about half a minute, right on the edge of going into The Wheel before sliding away into Good Lovin to end the show instead.

The Birdsong, as mentioned, has a major Dark Star (circa 1969 type) sound to it.

The second set, not much to add to others, just great versions of China > Rider > Samson and theEstimated > UJB is off the charts, as well as a very fine TOO.

And, odd, my first BIODTL - took 28 shows. Much more than all the BigRxR's, Cold Rain's, High Time's, To Lay Me Down's, etc.
Reviewer: sms01262 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2009
Subject: Drums
At one point durring the drum solo about 6and half minutes in Mickey hit a giant hand hand held drum with a yard stick ot something so hard the entire Garden seemed to shake. Some guy fell off the railing behind me. What a show!!!!
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - - March 9, 2009
Subject: Deep Elementary Blues??
"Elem" is/was a place. The word "Elementary" has nothing to do with the title of this old blues ditty.
Reviewer: Alex, Geddy, Neil, Jerry, Bobby, Phil, Brent, Mickey, Billy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 12, 2007
Subject: "..and the bees made honey in the lion's den..."
1st set is good, not great... 2nd set is on a whole other echelon.. this might be my favorite UJB of all-time..

the AUD source for this show is also stellar.
Reviewer: jeremiah johnson - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2006
Subject: it only takes one beautiful note
this wonderful show gets summed up at 4:05 in one beautiful note during 'samson'.....and a nice mingus/parkeresque jam during 'estimated'.no complaints here,5 cool ones.
Reviewer: Learn and love and grow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2005
Subject: FOB better?
An amazing show, but check out the updated FOB. A matrix of the two sources would be perfection. Well, more perfect than this.

The only thing that could make it more perfect would be tons and tons of coke. Just pure coke that numbs your whole head and makes your heart explode into a thousand million pieces. Ha, ha.
Reviewer: skwimite - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2005
Subject: China Cat Rider
What is better than opening the second set with China Cat > Rider? And a hot one at that, rolling nicely into Samson. Garcia's on the money pretty much everywhere. Excellent first set as well. A worthy addition. 4 stars for show and sound.
P.S. Thanks to Scott Clugston. Any relation to "Aunt" Mabel from Illinois? (1890's - 1960's)
Reviewer: Slade, MD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2005
Subject: Peak of 1981
This is the quintissential 81 show. I have not heard anything that lives up to its standard, though I have tried. Jerry barely moved during the entire show, yet rips leads on every song like he was trying to put out the definitive version. Bird Song, China Rider are in my top 3 versions of these songs. You really need this show, whether or not you were too wasted out of your mind to remember or write a decent review.
Reviewer: donnaruinedthe70s - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 28, 2005
Subject: thanks brettmeisner
you toolbox, for sharing your cocaine ridden night, and not commenting but a sentence on the actual show. no seriously, people care about how you were blowing coke up your and your roadslut's friend's nose..... you get zero stars.

now the show...on the other hand... very solid playing throughout the evening--the bird song is ridiculous. 4 star show.
Reviewer: gganter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2004
Subject: KIller
From beginning to end, this is one of the best shows of the year, if not the 1980s decade (and that is claiming a lot considering it includes 1985). What makes the show special is that there is no rushing, and Garcia really opens up on each song and looks inside. I'll never forget the sound of Garcia's guitar as he cranked up his volume during the first lead of Feel Like a Stranger---it just erupted from the speakers like some alien creature climbing out. Amazing Althea. The Birdsong gets into Dark Star territory. One of the most fiery Minglewoods you'll ever hear closes the first set. The second set also has remarkable depth--listen to Jerry take three guitar runs before going into Rider. Very deep Estimated>UJB. The Other One pulls out a lick last played in 1970 or something. Gorgeous Stella. This is really rich playing throughout. One of the best, and this is a decent quality SBD too.
Reviewer: BrettMeisner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2004
Subject: New York City, baby! Dancing Fool Pt.#1
This was an amazing show for about a thousand reasons. This was my third show and I was starting to turn my friends onto the Dead. Madison Square Garden has a strange magic all to itself Âhard to describe, you just had to be there. Listen to the crowd from this show and youÂll feel it without losing the sound of the band. I begged my best friend (a Black Sabbath freak) and his girl friend (a Disco Diva) to attend. He was open to it  she wasnÂt. We had to beg her and she finally came, but she swore: ÂShe wouldnÂt like it! I said they Âlove to dance just like you! She swore she wouldnÂt do that, either. Long story short We get there and outside on the ground we find an envelope, which contains three Â4th row center tickets and a vial of very pure cocaine. We sold our original lame-ass seats and used the 4 new ones  even though there were only three of us  and went inside. We were slightly drunk by the time we got to our seats. As a musician I love sitting close to the stage to watch the guitarists. We were stocked  well at least two of us. We couldnÂt do the blow cause everyone was around and watching. My buddy passed me the vial and I wanted to Âpretend to be Âtying my shoe and bend down and do a huff, but just as I did the lights went down and the Dead broke into ÂFeel Like a Stranger! A smoking version  I might add. I managed to get like a line of the blow into my nostrils and found that that was enough. My heart skipped, the heat rose and the drip began. I started rocking back and forth. My friend grabbed the vial like a Viking and did the same  giving his angry disco lady a bump as well. After a few minutes I noticed that all three of us were rocking and dancing. The Jerry Âflubby-flub-flubness solos took in even our own ÂDonna SummerÂ. She was a full-on head by the end of song two  Althea. At break we went to the bathroom to try and do the blow  but the line was longer then my current review (lol, folks, lol). Also, a Deadhead Âstole one of our chairs. Literally removed it from the row Weird ;=)

In short, the night was amazing. I could go on and on (and in) but I wonÂt. Also  China/Rider smokes. Nice Estimated, tooÂ

Reviewer: taperdave - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 5, 2004
Subject: Nice show
Nice warm up for the next night. The china cat rider has the jam in between bobbys and jerrys verses (nice) Uncle John's is fat, also electic deep elum
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/26/2004
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